5 Unique Devices for Miami Court Reporters

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Digital technology has changed our lives from how we communicate to how we work. The balance of benefits versus downsides is in constant debate. When it comes to court reporting though, a tech-savvy Miami court reporter can use digital equipment to be more efficient. This gives them access to more clients while enabling the courts to reduce their backlog. The question is which equipment is best if any. 

5 Devices a Miami Court Reporter Can Choose From 

How court reporters deliver their transcripts is up to them. The key is to make sure they’re accurate and on time. Digital tools speed up that process because they essentially share the workload. 

That’s not to say court reporters will ever become obsolete. You still need a human to certify the transcript. Moreover, digital tools can’t match a person’s accuracy, and neither can they deal with issues such as people talking over each other. 

Some of the leading equipment a Miami court reporter might choose to work with: 

1- Stenomask 

This hand-held microphone is designed to record the court reporter’s voice as it comes through a soundproof cup that fits over their mouth. One option for a stenomask is to state what’s happening in the courtroom. This could, for example, which witness is speaking or if someone points to an exhibit.

Another way to use a stenomask is as a voice-to-text device. In that case, the stenomask connects to a high-capacity laptop with special computer-aided transcription (CAT) software. The transcript then becomes a real-time document although the Miami court reporter will still have to do a final edit and proofread. Nevertheless, it gives lawyers an immediate first draft should they need it.  

2- Digital recorder 

As digital tools pale in comparison to what a Miami court reporter can produce, many choose them only as a backup. It’s still an important tool to help them with editing and certifying the final transcript. 

In terms of which digital recorder to use, a Miami court reporter needs to consider the size of the room and the number of speakers. They might, for example, prefer to have a microphone per person but that isn’t always practical. Another option is to choose a digital recorder that can record multiple channels so that each speaker has their own. This makes it much easier to differentiate between the speakers when finalizing the transcript. 

3- Steno writer microphone 

Another option for a Miami court reporter is a microphone that connects to their stenograph machine. This is slightly different from the previous option where the microphone connects to the computer to serve as a backup. 

In this case, you just need your stenograph machine, or steno writer, with your microphone plugged in. The recording again serves as a backup but the whole system is more portable because you can leave your laptop at home. The final arrangement clearly depends on your clients and if they need a real-time transcript. 

4- Video deposition equipment 

The ultimate backup system is to have both audio and visual. Moreover, video depositions can support those lawyers who might want to review the witnesses’ body language, for instance. This can make a major difference when preparing the subtleties of a closing argument. 

Video depositions can also be used to show a judge and the jury subtle mannerisms when witnesses speak or pick up an exhibit. There’s so much that we communicate through body language which might be critical in some cases. 

5- Stenographs 

The original device used by any Miami court reporter is the stenograph. Sometimes it’s called a steno machine, a stenotype, or simply a shorthand machine. It allows court reporters to type in shorthand which is much faster than typing normal words out in full. 

This shorthand looks like multiple strokes or a row of seemingly random letters. In some cases, court reporters work with scopists to speed up the final editing process. These specialists are trained in shorthand and they edit the transcript by comparing the court reporter’s shorthand to the final document. 

Stenographs have also evolved with the times and you can now connect them to laptops and CAT software. This means that steno paper is virtually obsolete and has been replaced by computers. Nevertheless, computers crash and break so it’s critical for court reporters to keep several copies of documents on multiple devices. Again, that’s why some choose to have backup recording devices alongside their stenographs. 

Parting Words on the Devices a Miami Court Reporter Uses 

While digital technology gives us many options for recording events, a Miami court reporter still uses shorthand as the principal mode of recording. The digital technology simply isn’t up to par and it’s critical that court reporters can trust their notes to deliver accurate transcripts. 

Nevertheless, digital technology acts as a valuable aid to speed up the process so that they can be more efficient and even support more clients. Everybody wins as cases are closed and resolved punctually and effectively.